The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘reptiles’ Category

Dragon of the Day #2338

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Dragon of the Day #2338

This lovely bearded dragon was one of many curious creatures to stare back at us as Laurel and I wandered the East Bay Vivarium today. I have a certain fondness for turtles and tortoises, and might one day adopt one of my own, but every species there is beautiful and fascinating to see, watching from behind their glass with that inscrutable gaze.

The entire shop is so busy, packed so tight with reptile tanks that you have to squeeze past the other humans to move through the narrow aisles.

I’m so glad that these creatures exist, and that we get to actually see them in person.

raetikon ends
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Written by Umbrella Man

February 16, 2015 at 12:44 am

Posted in animals, reptiles

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Direwolf of the Day #2093

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Direwolf of the Day #2093

Arya here may be limbless and toothless, but she grows fast as a bolt of bamboo and sneaks quiet as a shadow, and her pale complexion offers the perfect disguise for slipping into the homes of wights and crows alike.

Look at that coil, perfect strength and poise, eager to climb through your hands and taste the air.

the perfect pet

Written by Umbrella Man

June 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Hatchling of the Day #1128

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The greenhouse was functionally cricketless again today, so I spent only a very short time with the lizards. The tiniest, snakelike hatchlings and their older relatives were gone, leaving only these sandy-scaled lizards behind.

Reptiles do seem so carefully made, with each scale so discrete and defined. Unlike, say, kittens or humans, they’re born with the same appearance that adults have – just at a smaller size. With no awkward big heads, with no featherless or larval stage, they live with a shape that lasts their entire lives. If there were a patron saint of immortality, it would be a reptile.

That’s already happened in many stories, hasn’t it?

I really like these little guys, and I wish I could make friends with them. There are great mysteries swirling around in those tiny minds.

bec noir’s cascade

Written by Umbrella Man

October 25, 2011 at 1:19 am

Posted in animals, reptiles

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Portrait of the Day #1121

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Mondays are lean days in the lizard greenhouse, since cricket shipments don’t come in until Tuesday. I arrived this morning to find there was no food for the little scaly folk, so after watering them I took some time to take a few photos. This is one of the hatchlings, only a few weeks old – they couldn’t have been more than two days hatched when I first met them. The adults didn’t much like my camera’s presence, but the young ones were just quiet and curious, staring straight into the lens and crawling too close for me to snap a photo.

I did manage to get this shot, though, and I think he looks rather noble on his little scrap of redwood. I love how pronounced his little elbows are, poking out to either side with the tiny hands pointed inwards. Those legs are just barely wider than their eyeballs, it seems, and they blend in so well that even now it can be hard not to mistake them for snakes.

Thank goodness they have slow reptile metabolisms, because I don’t think they’d be happy cricketless if they had to burn energy on endothermy. No worries – they should be fed properly tomorrow.

turn the clamp on our thumbs so we’re down about it

Written by Umbrella Man

October 17, 2011 at 11:47 pm

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Charge of the Day #1104

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This is one of the few dozen lizards I learned to feed today. Each is registered with a serial number and toe-tag, and lives in its own little vivarium. Some graduate students at UCSC are running (rather gentle) experiments to see what their heat preferences are – it’s a way to study the effects of climate change. Every lizard needs to be fed every day, so I’ve been enlisted as one of several undergraduate lizard-feeders. I’ll try to carry out my task with pride.

This one has a bit of blue, as you can see, and the closer mating season gets the further the blueness spreads. I wonder if I’ll get to see them in full bloom.

When we were showed around the greenhouse, our graduate student guide discovered that one of the lizards had given birth. He had caught her only very recently, and no one had realized she was pregnant. The babies were tiny things, with arms so thin they seemed almost invisible, and for a moment I thought there were just a few snakes wriggling around with a rather large mother lizard.

Monday is pretty likely to become Lizard Day. I’m excited.

cara mia addio

Written by Umbrella Man

October 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

Posted in animals, reptiles

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